In this episode, AJung Moon talks with Julie Carpenter, who recently received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington, having written her dissertation on the interaction between military Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) personnel and the robots they use in investigating suspicious objects and rendering explosives harmless – primarily PackBots from iRobot and TALONS from QinetiQ. More generally, Julie is interested in emotional attachment issues in human-robot interaction, and how it affects user decision-making in collaborative, sometimes stressful, situations.
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Google revealed it is working on developing humanoid robots that will automate daily tasks, on the heels of Amazon announcing a new drone-delivery program. The moves indicate that automated delivery services, and perhaps much more, could be on the horizon.
The secret to building brain-controlled prostheses may be to ignore the brain entirely In the past several years scientists have delivered a slew of advances in wiring prosthetic limbs directly to the brain. A number of studies have reported that severely disabled patients--or monkeys employed as research surrogates--have used bionic limbs controlled by thought to, say, pick up a cup or hold up a hand and give a high five.
My weekends are normally spent dealing with red diesel suppliers and reading news. You may wonder why Red diesel suppliers, well that’s because we have recently moved into a new neighbourhood and are still looking for a reliable source for red diesel. On the other hand reading news has always been my favourite time pass, needless to say my wife hates it. Here’s the gist of the story that I have been following for quite some time.
While the world’s focus is on Afghanistan and America’s role on the military front, the Taliban seems to have pulled a fast one yet again in spite of the advanced technology the US has at its disposal. They have yet again slipped across the porous border where no foreigner can have a say. Having got across the border into Pakistan, they seem to merge with the general population in such a manner as to become indistinguishable to an outsider.
Having turned against anyone who so much as lifts a finger against them, they work with impunity gaining inside information and help from sympathisers found in every wake of life. Their ‘eye for an eye’retort to the killing of their comrades with the kidnapping and subsequent cold blooded execution of over 20 Pakistani policemen recently throws credence to the fact that they are a law unto themselves. And Pakistan may well have to pay a price for being their friend or for that matter, their supposed foe.
Their burgeoning growth and clout stems from the fact that, though they may lack sophisticated methods, they have sympathisers on their side that would, without a moment’s hesitation, do their bidding. This probably goes a long way in providing them with safe houses, passage, money and reports of everything that happens in the region. To get out of the grasp of surveillances methods, they use word of mouth to pass messages leaving no path for tracking. The west, on the other hand, has managed to alienate itself from the people in the region. It has unwittingly earned a reputation for itself as one that always works with a vested interest. This is why the local population, while greedily taking in all that the West has to offer, subtly betrays it when it comes to emotions and leanings.